Long known for its popular DJ sets in the bustling Basement Tavern, The Victorian is striving to redefine itself as not only a center for nightlife, but also a center for modern coastal cuisine.
Having briefly launched before the pandemic, the updated Beach Club restaurant is now fully up and running with an open wood fire grill centering a Mediterranean inspired, seafood forward menu.
Heading the kitchen is Executive Chef Justin Aquino of Mastro’s in Beverly Hills, who has designed a range of rotating seasonal dishes using locally sourced ingredients. The ground floor and outdoor patio features an oyster bar and smoker, while the renovated upstairs hosts an airy European-style lounge complete with bottle service.
The four partners at The Victorian each come from different international backgrounds and share a love for traveling to seaside towns.
“I grew up in Rio around beach clubs eating lots of fresh seafood and fresh ingredients from Brazil and my partner Val comes from Guadalajara,” said Co-Owner Paulo Daguiar. “Our partner Garner traveled all the time to beach clubs in the south of France, so the influence came from all of us loving that vibe.”
The Beach Club menu features flavor inspirations from all these different locales and strives to recreate the relaxed and breezy experience of being on a beach vacation.
This comes in sharp contrast to the speakeasy-style underground whisky bar that has long been The Victorian’s claim to fame. However, Daguiar believes the two settings will complement each other well and offer the public many more ways to enjoy the historic property.
“I think the Beach Club restaurant is beautiful. It’s a place that I can take my wife and my kids and if I want to go upstairs to the lounge with my wife and dance, I can do that, or if I want to go down to the Basement Tavern, I can do that too,” said Daguiar. “The place will have all the elements of a fun night, or a fun day!”
For many years the ground and first floor of The Victorian was used for private events, but now the public is welcome to explore, drink, and dine across the building. The building was built in the 1890s, and in the 1970s was transported from Ocean Ave and Wilshire Blvd to its current location on Main Street, according to Daguiar.
The team has preserved a lot of the house’s original details—like the over a century old bathroom tiles—while also modernizing the interior with plenty of plants, warm wood furniture, and cozy fabrics.
A lot of the furniture and the open wood fire grill was imported from Guadalajara. According to Daguiar, the grill is the magic touch behind many of the restaurant’s dishes, including the oysters, lobster, crab legs, steak, and charred vegetables.
When it comes to dish recommendations Daguiar said, “the Rockefeller oyster is one of my favorites, then we have a shrimp cocktail with a green cocktail sauce that Chef Aquino makes really cool with tomatillo. The tomahawk steak is excellent, the mac and cheese is really good, and the truffle fries are super popular.”
The Beach Club at the Victorian is open for dinner Wednesdays and Thursdays from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., Fridays from 5 p.m. to 1 a.m. and offers an all-day menu Saturdays from 12 p.m. to 1 a.m. and Sundays from 12 p.m. to 8 pm. The Victorian Beach Club Lounge is open from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.
The Basement Tavern is currently closed, but the team is hoping to reopen it in the coming weeks.